0141. ART AS INSTRUCTIVE/ART AS EXPRESSIVE: Two Lectures and a Visit to the Met
10:00 – 12:00 noon Fridays, May 1 - May 8*
May 8 (Tour of selected art at the MET),
May 15 (Lecture at NCMA)
*See bios of these lecturers under their individual courses which occur on earlier pages.
ART AS INSTRUCTIVE/ART AS EXPRESSIVE: Two Lectures and a Visit to the Met
A common critique of classical masterworks is that they are too didactic (“didactic”
deriving from the Greek word didaskein, “to teach”). Such criticisms suggest that art ought
not to intentionally teach us; therefore, aesthetes would then seem to be claiming that
when art aims to teach, it loses something. Although it is hard to deny that there is some
validity to this assumption, it does seem to many of us, that, if only in the past, some of
the best art has certainly aimed at elevating human life by teaching.
So how can we put together these seemingly antithetical beliefs that art should be more
concerned with teaching life lessons versus promoting the artist’s own free expression and
creativity? This course will focus on that dilemma, and will examine a few of the Met’s
various works of art which we believe successfully accomplish both these aims as pieces
which can teach and at the same time perplex— a goal which, as Socrates believed is the
ultimate aim of teaching.
(PLEASE NOTE: These sessions begin with an introductory lecture at the NCMA on the first
day, and end with a follow-up lecture at the NCMA on the last day. Between the two
lectures there will be a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, requiring a
10:00 a.m. arrival and meeting with the lecturers in the lobby, before beginning the
approximately 2-hour exploration of the museum for viewing the art under consideration.
All participants are responsible for: their own transportation; their own admission fee;
and, their own lunch expenditure, which may be either with the group or on-your-own after
the tour has been completed. Please be advised that enrollment is limited to a very small
number of participants in order to allow for a better learning experience. It is also advised
that you should wear comfortable shoes and clothing for the Met visit, as extensive
walking may be required.)